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[115]

Let us now come to the games. For the way in which I see your attention given to me, and your eyes directed towards me makes me think that I may be allowed now to speak in a lighter tone. At times the intimations of opinion which take place in assemblies and comitia are to be depended on; at times they are worthless and corrupt. The crowd of spectators in the theatre and at the gladiatorial games, are said at all times to pour forth their purchased applauses in small and scanty proportion at the caprice of a few directors. But it is easy, when that is the case, to see how it is done, and by whom, and what the entire people are doing. Why need I tell you now what men, or what description of citizens, receive the greatest applause? There is not one of you who is ignorant of this. However, let this be a matter of slight consequence, not that it really is, since it is given to every virtuous man; but, if it be a matter of slight consequence, it is so only to a wise man. But to him who depends on the most trivial circumstances, who (as these men say themselves) is fettered and guided by popular rumour and popular favour, it is inevitable that applause must appear immortality and hissing death.


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